President Joe Biden has said the country needs to “get beyond” the QAnon conspiracy theory and addressed one of the central claims of the conspiracy head on.
Biden spoke at a CNN town hall event on Wednesday and warned that the leaders of other countries were “wondering” about whether the U.S. would “get it together” in the 21st century.
The QAnon conspiracy theory posits, among other claims, that there is an international cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles which includes senior Democrats and possibly Biden himself. The president dismissed that conspiracy.
Biden discussed the QAnon conspiracy theory and appeared saddened that some people believed it.
“But some of the stuff—I mean, QAnon. The idea that the Democrats—or Biden is hiding people and sucking the blood of children.”
Seeing the audience’s reaction, Biden said: “No, I’m serious.”
The president said it was fine to dislike him and choose not to vote for him but argued that conspiracy theories were a problem.
“The kinds of things that are being said of late, I think you’re beginning to see some of the—and by Democrats as well—sort of the venom, sort of leak out of a lot. We’ve got to get beyond this.”
“What do you say to your grandchildren or your children about what’s happening? Do you ever remember a time like this before in the entire history, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican? This is not who we are,” Biden said.
“And I’ll say one last thing: You’re gonna—I’ve had a lot of experience internationally and — mean, not good or bad, just I have—I chaired the Foreign Relations Committee, I’ve been deeply involved,” Biden went on.
“I did national security for our last—the administration with Barack [Obama]. But folks, the rest of the world’s wondering about us. Those of you who’ve traveled abroad—it’s not a joke. Not a joke.”
He said that leaders at the recent G7 summit expressed concerns about the U.S. and asked, “Will the country ever get it together?”
“Democracy has to stand up and demonstrate it can get something done,” Biden said to applause from the audience.
Biden’s comments on conspiracies come amid a confrontation between the White House and social media giant Facebook over COVID-19 disinformation on the platform. The president initially said Facebook was “killing people” but later rowed back on that criticism.
Newsweek has asked the White House for comment.
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